Birthstones often are a favorite gem. They very well may have been that first piece of jewelry, set into a delicate baby ring or a tiny heart pendant. For anyone whose birthstone holds a special significance (and that’s most of us), a gift of birthstone jewelry holds extra meaning and is more treasured. How much more meaningful if, before you choose a gift, you understand some of the qualities and symbolism of the stone.
Because the garnet is highly refractive, it appears to emit light. In ancient times, warriors and explorers carried garnets to ward off evil and light up the night. Give a garnet to a loved one for protection, especially before a journey.
The flawless crystal of the amethyst is a symbol of strength. It strengthens the bond in a relationship and is often exchanged between two lovers to renew their commitment. It also honors the sincerity and wisdom of the wearer.
The aquamarine evokes soothing images of the sea. It is a symbol of perception, since it may look blue, green or colorless depending on the angle. Its primary properties are courage and inner peace. A gift of an aquamarine inspires harmony in a relationship.
The beautiful and brilliant diamond represents everlasting love, usually in an engagement ring. It also signifies strength of character and faithfulness to oneself and others and is a symbol of trust and truth.
The emerald symbolizes hope, renewal and eternity, as the earth “greens up” each spring every year. It is also called the “Poet’s Gemstone” for its ability to inspire eloquent expression and communication.
Unlike gemstones that are mined deep in the earth, polished and cut, the pearl begins life in a living creature, the mollusk, and the mollusk’s natural processes burnish the gem to bring out its iridescence. The pearl is a symbol of purity and of a stable, loving relationship.
The ruby denotes nobility of character. It is filled with positive energy and brings confidence and courage to the wearer. The gift of a ruby is an invitation to embrace the joy of life.
Unlike other gems, the peridot gives off its startling glow in both natural and artificial light, which is why the Ancient Romans called peridots “evening emeralds.” Let your loved one know she lights up a room with a gift of a peridot.
The sapphire symbolizes dignity, loyalty, wisdom. In the past, it symbolized heaven and bestowed heavenly blessings on the wearer. It is also the gem of artists for its ability to enhance intuition and creativity.
The opal contains all the color of the other gems. Some believe that the color that dominates is the symbolism that dominates. Other feel opals inspire imagination and carry with them faithfulness, innocence, and purity.
This sparkling golden gemstone has lit the imaginations of ancient cultures around the world. The earth tones symbolize comfort, generosity and empathy. A hostess might wear a topaz to impart a warm welcome to her guests.
Turquoise is a symbol of friendship: It is the result of copper and aluminum compounds working together in harmony. It is perhaps the only gemstone to have a rhyme written for it:
“If cold December gave you birth,
The month of snow and ice and mirth,
Place on your hand a turquoise blue,
Success will bless whate’er you do.”